30 July 2020
A new report from Access Now examines how digital infrastructure can be blocked, shut down, or monitored to prevent people exercising their right to freedom of assembly.
"As COVID-19 continues to spread, social movements — from Hong Kong to Sudan — are increasingly using the internet to exercise their rights to organize, voice opinions, call others to action, express solidarity, and access life-saving information. They are developing creative approaches to fight for their rights in digital spaces, working within the constraints of physical distancing measures. However, governments are leveraging the internet and digital technologies to quell dissent and strip people of their capacity for collective action, online and off, even in contravention of their own domestic laws, and international human rights obligations. In fact, in 2019, protests were the most commonly observed cause of internet shutdowns — a blatant action to quell assembly and silence dissenting voices.
Highlighting case studies from across the world, Access Now’s new report puts forth recommendations for multiple stakeholders to strengthen their commitment to protect the rights of freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and examines three current issues:
See: New world disorder: digital attacks on freedom of assembly (Access Now, link)
Full report: Defending peaceful assembly and association in the digital age: takedowns, shutdowns and surveillance (link to pdf)
And: Report snapshot (link to pdf)
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